Harleston House in Lowestoft hosts its first pet open day

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Doris Bedfo

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Doris Bedford holding Billy the tortoise. Pictures: Gareth Harding - Credit: Archant

Dogs, geckos, parrots and tortoises descended on a specialist dementia care home in Lowestoft for an inaugural event.

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Marcella Bi

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Marcella Bird with staff member Donna and her pet Gecko. Pictures: Gareth Harding - Credit: Archant

Harleston House in Park Road, Lowestoft, opened its doors to a number of pets as they held a successful pet open day.

The event was inspired by the home's residents, who love animals, as they welcomed the pets and registered who visited Harleston House throughout the day.

With staff, relatives and friends of Harleston House bringing in their pets to spend some time with the residents, the home was visited by 14 dogs, two tortoises, two parrots, two geckos, a cat and a goldfish.

There was also a free barbecue for all visitors to enjoy while sitting and relaxing in the sensory garden.

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Marcella Bi

Harleston House Dementia Care Home in Lowestoft held a successful pet open day. Resident Marcella Bird with her daughter and granddaughter, with pet dogs Lucy and Elsa. Pictures: Gareth Harding - Credit: Archant


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The home's oldest resident, Doris Bedford, 105, had never held a tortoise before – but on the day she got to hold two tortoises named Billy and Daisy. She said: 'It's been a new experience for me and I could not believe how quick they could move'.

Most of the residents have never had the opportunity to see a gecko up close and they could not wait to hold the animals as they were very intrigued by the geckos.

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The residents also enjoyed giving all the dogs treats as they paraded around the home. Gareth Harding, activities co-ordinator at Harleston House, said: 'It was a very rewarding activity to host in the home and it was a very positive experience for us all. We want it to be a yearly event for Harleston House and we look forward to next year.'

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